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Date Modified: September 9, 2023
In civil injury cases, the standard of proof in California’s local courts is the preponderance of the evidence. The plaintiff’s burden is to prove the defendant’s liability to pay for things like pain, suffering, loss of sex, loss of love, loss of affection, economic losses from medical expenses, and lost work.
And they require the plaintiff or injured party to prove specific elements:
The defendant or negligent party owed a duty of care to the injured plaintiff.
The negligent party or defendant breached the duty of care.
But the plaintiff must have suffered injuries due to the negligent party’s violation of the duty of reasonable care.
The elements of a case, which is the plaintiff’s burden to prove in a civil lawsuit, involve credible evidence. So, it might require documents, police reports, medical documents, expert testimony, and witness statements.
Evidence Shows or Doesn’t Show If Elements Are Met?
This is used to show the at-fault party caused the injuries and that they had a duty of care. The defendant will have an opportunity to present evidence to combat and contradict the plaintiff’s case. Afterward, or upon objections raised, the judge or jury will weigh the party’s evidence to determine if the plaintiff proved its case.
More Likely Than Not Standard?
This is the standard of proof used in civil cases. This standard asks that a judge or jury find that it is more likely than not that what Plaintiff is asserting is true, and that it is more than 50% likely that he or she is entitled to damages.
Overall, the preponderance of evidence standard requires that the evidence in favor of one side be more convincing than the evidence in favor of the other side. It is used in most civil cases in the United States. Learn more from accident attorneys.
Video Transcript - What Is Preponderance of The Evidence in A Civil Case?
"0:00 what does preponderance of the evidence
0:01 mean in a civil claim the preponderance
0:05 of the evidence standard is one of the
0:07 lowest standards of evidence that there
0:10 is the preponderance of the evidence
0:12 standard basically means this if there
0:16 was a scale and it tipped ever so
0:18 slightly in plaintiffs favor plaintiff
0:20 wins. [Music]"
How Do Jurors Weigh The Evidence?
Their job as jurors is to weigh the evidence and return a decision. The preponderance of proof is the evidence with greater weight in convincing the judge or jury. Even if this tips the scale just a tiny bit, the plaintiff should rightly win. But proving liability in a civil case means having significant evidence to sway the jury. So now, your side of the matter is more believable than the opposing party’s case. Thus, if one side convinces the judge or jury by 51%, they win.
However, some juries have been known to find fault and award a penny or “dollar” if they dislike the plaintiff. Thus, the art of legal advocacy and taking on likable clients is one of the oft-unspoken aspects of a case that is arguably even more important than proving a case.
Bad Client Means Loser Case?
Many experienced attorneys can look through a plaintiff’s case and see into the victim’s soul. If the victim comes off like a jerk, this fact alone could mean a hollow victory.
So this remains an exceptional sub-issue of proving a case worthy of further discussion. Do you have a hard time getting a lawyer to listen to you? You are not alone. Rest assured that one of our motivated and charismatic lawyers is all ears.
Speak To a Lawyer With a Free Consultation
We even offer free legal advice over the telephone to earn your trust and respect. Or you can use our efficient contact us form online today. To speak to a serious injury lawyer near you, call (213) 596-9642.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.